First Presbyterian Church

 

WellSpring Missions

WellSpring

WellSpring Missions: Clean water is the life blood of developing nations. South Sudan, and particularly Jonglei Province have been devastated with over 50 years of war – only to be hit with a recent civil war within this newly formed country. WellSpring Missions was formed to drill water wells for villages without clean water in South Sudan. Initial drilling took place in the village area of Old Fangak, which prior to three years ago was around 20,000 people with five wells. Now it is over 100,000 people with still only five wells. Water borne diseases are running rampant as the population is increasing with the flood of displaced persons.


WellSpring Missions was in its infancy when one of the founding families joined our church. In welcoming these new members we found a new opportunity for mission work with a very personal and trusted local involvement. One of these mission leaders had journeyed to South Sudan to participate in drilling their first well. He has since kept our congregation updated on progress and brought other active WellSpring participants to present updates at our church and to our Missions Committee, which has contributed financially in recent years. The church also collected donations of tools and materials which have been sent to South Sudan.


The organization’s current goal is to fund the infrastructure to create, train, outfit, and develop three entrepreneurial teams or companies to drill wells in the Jonglei Province of South Sudan. The teams will be made up of people native to the area. The effort includes the purchase of equipment as well as training in the technical skills and in business skills required to drill and maintain the wells. As of early 2017 the equipment is in South Sudan waiting for dry season weather and sufficient political security to enable transport to the sites for drilling. Our church’s current commitment to WellSpring is fund the costs for drilling one well in the region.


We often hear the saying “Ggive a man a fish and you will satisfy his hunger today; teach him to fish and you can satisfy his hunger forever.” This thought is strong in how WellSpring plans to bring clean water to the depressed area they have chosen to serve. There are known to be around 1500 defunct water wells in the province. Most of these were probably drilled and opened, but then not monitored and maintained. To avoid continuation of this trend, WellSpring’s three trained teams, each with a leader, will operate on a business plan to “sell” a well to a community for a very affordable price and include training for community-identified local leaders in the creation, operation, and maintenance of the well.


Christ showed us that human needs need to be addressed before we can be most receptive to the gospel. An entrée to evangelism is often required. The well drilling addresses needs and provides the entrée. The WellSpring teams will be equipped to use open opportunities to share the Word. WellSpring’s South Sudan/Kenya based Executive Director, James, while not ordained, leads worship services at the work sites. WellSpring personnel have facilitated establishment of a Lutheran church in Old Fangak with an ordained pastor who has since tragically been killed in the ongoing violence in the country.

Evangelism is a strong part of the ministry’s objectives. The predominant religion in this area is Christianity, but with all the strife there are many believers in need of reinforcement of their faith, and there are many non-believers who need an introduction to the Good News.